Critics say they're dirty, that it has enormous leave-behinds in the form of ash, pollutants like sulphuric acids, arsenic and loads of carbon dioxide, not to mention the costs - both quantifiable and non-quantifiable - for mining, disposing of leave-behinds, and illnesses in the local communities.
Doesn't sound like a really pleasant thing to be around, does it? Did you know that Virginia Tech has it's own power plant, and that it's fueled by coal, that dirtiest of fossil fuels?
Before you jump up and start making picket signs, check out this article by 16 Blocks Magazine - it might just give you a different perspective on new ways that 800 pound gorilla we call Virginia Tech is discovering to serve an increasing demand while minimizing its' impact. Think it isn't working? The systems installed in the Virginia Tech facility have resulted in "a ninety percent reduction in emissions and a smoke stack that hardly seems to smoke at all. By industry standards, an emissions opacity of ten percent is considered good. VTPP's opacity hovers between two and three percent, a level of smoke invisible even in broad daylight."
THAT's making a difference.
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